World War Z
Budget: $190 million
Domestic Gross: $200.8 million
Worldwide Gross: $532.4 million
Bottom Line: As it turned out, most moviegoers didn’t care one lick about the behind-the-scenes production drama that landed World War Z on the cover of both Entertainment Weekly and Vanity Fair. Paramount’s expensive zombie film trounced expectations on opening weekend with $66 million, and because it was actually pretty good, the film made it all the way past the $200 million mark, becoming Brad Pitt’s highest grossing movie ever.
Budget: $20 million
Domestic Gross: $134.3 million
Worldwide Gross: $243.8 million
Bottom Line: Thanks to an uber-creepy trailer, James Wan’s $20 million fright-fest pummeled its pricey competition (Turbo, Red 2, R.I.P.D.) on opening weekend with $41.9 million. And thanks to great word-of-mouth, the film didn’t nosedive the way most horror films do. In fact, The Conjuring ended up tripling its debut.